Beneficial and Delightful Soap for Skin, Senses & Spirit

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowmas!

This day is traditionally a time of ancestral worship. In many places in Europe, people go to cemeteries with bouquets to honor the dead. So, in celebration of the nature of Hallowmas (or Halloween, as it is typically known in the United States), above is an image of a glycerin-rich, highly fragrant sandalwood soap, molded in a Celtic design. I gilded this soap a bit with a bronze mica, to give it an aged 'finish'.
Celtic designs are indigenous to my heritage. I find that they are surprisingly contemporary, although very ancient in origin. I was blessed with many Celtic traits - especially the love of fire, a sense of wild adventure,  a warrior-like attitude (at times) and an intrinsic understanding of the "old ways".
Please remember to honor your own heritage on this day. Feel gratitude for what has been bestowed upon you in this life, for those of have gone before you, for your inherited gifts.
Practice gratitude today and every day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A little background music, please....

I started creating soap for myself. Period.
I have finicky, delicate skin (I am that red headed stepchild with sensitive skin you hear about). Nothing that I used on my face or body helped - at least for very long. Some products worked for awhile and then stopped 'doing that voodoo'. Other products (no matter the cost) irritated my skin. ick.
I launched my soap line and body exfoliation lines for me.
I am into serious exfoliation! Now, I create scrubs of baking soda (Yes! A teaspoon of baking soda  mixed with my soap lather is my facial favorite); sugar and sea salts blended with the oils and or/carriers that are seasonally appropriate is my choice for body exfoliation.
Other people seemed to like my skin, my soap and my body products too.
It does not hurt that I was blessed with good skin genes either, but I am convinced that my soaps, exfoliation products and intensive attention to moisture are Mother Nature's Helpers....and I am never without a humidifier. A wonder of the world!

Above is one of the best soaps I make and use - it is a super-fatted, ultra-packed bar of fabulous triple shea butter - ever so very delicately scented with Rose Otto essential oil. This soap is superb for face and body - and gorgeous-looking too! The embedded crushed rose petals at the top are so sweet! This was the very first cold process soap that I created - and it remains one of the best.
I also use my Pitta facial soap, alternating with the ultra emollient Mango and Avocado Buttercream soaps. Sometimes I use a very rich oat and honey soap that is lard-based. This last soap is not for vegetarians, but in the winter, this carnivore's skin loves it.
We all tend to take our hot water for granted, but to me, hot water and an excellent soap is true luxury and pampering.
I use the same soap on face and body. Why use different types of cleansers? No need!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Candy bar soap??!!

I was going to post a photo of one of my favorite bars of soap. The problem is that I cannot find the image. Dangit!
In the meantime, I will describe it - a cocoa butter, coconut oil and almond butter soap masterpiece that is so scrumptious! I do not know whether to lather it or take a big bite out of it!
I will continue to look for the photo so you can see the delicate swirls of dark chocolate that give the soap some articulation.
Hmmm....I am beginning to see a pattern here.
I do not even keep Halloween candy in the house ahead of time. I am the frantic woman you see at Walgreen's on the very night of that spooky holiday, buying bags of candy not to my liking for the sake of co-existence and survival under the same roof!
Trick or treat?
Wash your mouth out with soap?
I really need to find that picture!

A Lime Margarita and a rose....

If I cannot sip one, I can sniff one....make mine a Lime Margarita with Salt, please! The above soap is a rather simple bar of olive-oil and coconut oil with the intoxicating fragrance of a lime margarita. I rolled the top in sea salt for good measure.

The above image is an incredibly rich and creamy shea butter soap. I am talking major amounts of shea butter! This lovely soap has a light scent of roses and a touch of clove oil and rosewood. The top is embedded with crushed rose petals - just enough to make it special - not so many as to clog your drains!

Ayurvedic soaps - hey Baby, what's your dosha?


Years ago, for reasons that escape me at this moment, I developed a keen interest in Ayurveda, the ancient art of medicine from India. Ayurvedic principles are so logical and straightforward that I am stunned and surprised that more people do not follow them. In fact, many people know little to nothing about Ayurveda. Pity.
Here is a micro-mini crash course, at least in how it relates to soapmaking and usage. Ayurveda holds that there are three main doshas (constitutions or natures): Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It helps to think of a dosha as a season - spring, summer and winter, respectively. Vata = windy and dry (airy/mental). Pitta = hot and sensitive (fiery/intelligent or 'rash'). Kapha = wet and cool (emotional/slow-moving).
With the three doshas in mind, I created three absolutely sumptuous, cold process soap formulas, designed to "pacify" the "aggravated" dosha. In other words, I have soaps for spring (vata - dry, chapped), summer (pitta - sensitive) and winter (kapha - oily) types of complexions.
The above photo is my Pitta/Summer soap,created for my own personal use. I have a typical 'redhead's' skin - sensitive, fine-pored, prone to rashes and irritation under stress or adverse ('aggravating') conditions. I am absolutely miserable when the weather turns warm-to-hot! I have never found a soap that suits me, so I made my own!
My Pitta soap is a coconut, sunflower and almond oil base with rose water, precious Rose Otto and fine French clay. My complexion loves it!
If you are bothered by hot weather (read: irritated, impatient and angry), pair this soap with one of my cooling coconut oil body products, preferably scented with rose....ahhhhh....that's better.


The above slice of creamsickle-like soap is for a vata. Vata types have many of the qualities of the Spring season - changeable, prone to nervousness, irritated by wind, chapped and thin, dry skin. The vata soap is formulated with emollient avocado, almond and jojoba oils and super-fatted with castor oil and shea butter for superior moisturization. There is a swirl of French pink and white clays to assist with those days when the skin is fussy. The light aroma blend features sweet neroli, jasmine, lemon and other essential oils, all selected to calm and pacify vata.


The above little slice of heaven is my kapha soap. Kapha is likened to the winter season. These emotional , sweet-tempered people typically have oily, prone-to-breakouts, thick skin which responds beautifully to this soap enriched with barley water. Swirls of French clay prove beneficial, as do the sunflower, palm and grapesees oil base and the aromatherapy blend of patchouly, lavender, bergamot, clove and other fine essential oils.

That is my ridiculously "quick and dirty" primer on "What's your dosha?" go scrub up!

A true confession ....

I will let you in on a well-kept secret: my love is.....a luxury bar of cold process soap! The bills can mount up, the house can be falling apart, my mood can swing like a pendulum, but throw me in a tub or a shower with a bar of great soap and I am ready for the revolution!
A little background: cold process soap is Grandma's old fashioned lye soap. Lye + fat = soap. I make my soap from scratch the same way as Grandma did, but in limited, small, artisan batches. After aging for a few months to a few years (yes!), the soap is turned out in rustic slices. The aging gives creamy lather and mildness and assures a long-lasting bar.
My soap has a few contemporary additions that Grandma's did not have - luxury butters (think shea, avocado, mango, almond), organic and food grade vegetable oils like olive oil. sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, almond oil, I like adding ground vanilla beans, dark chocolate, white chocolate, ground almonds, heavy cream, various milks, honey- you get the point. I am also fond of sparkling micas, French clays and exotic essential oils.
This soap looks good enough to take a bite of (like the bar pictured above), but please do not eat the soap!
The soap slice above is a triple lemon soap with poppy seeds and lemon peel. The fragrance is lemon, lemongrass, lemon verbena and some other secret essential oils.
This soap is good, People! And good for you!!

Image above is of a goat milk and almond soap slice. With ground almonds tossed in for gentle exfoliation, this is a mild, creamy bar of goodness. Very lightly fragranced, this soap would be a great complexion soap. Speaking of complexions, I only use my own soap. My skin is highly sensitive (think "redhead"). I started making soap out of sheer desperation (and vanity).
I am passionate about making my soap!
The possibilities and endless combinations are artistic and pleasurable to me. The pricing of these soaps is affordable too. Once you use a good bar of real soap with wholesome ingredients and non-irritating fragrance, you may toss even your chemical-laden body washes!
Now, I control what goes on my face and body (no preservatives or chemicals!!) - and at the risk of tooting my own horn, my skin has never looked nor felt better.
Now - hand me my soap and scrub brush - I am going in!!
Let the revolution begin!!

Angelic sparkle soaps .....

Above is a mild glycerin soap, cast in the image of a Guardian Angel. This is a bi-layer soap, fragranced with black vanilla, clove and cinnamon and infused with that skin-loving mineral, dazzling mica. The glittering translucent top layer is a pale blue-green and floats above the gold base.

Above is a sweet cherub - another mild glycerin soap, shot through with mica. This soap is also perfumed with sensuous vanilla, clove and subtle cinnamon for a wintry, warming blend.

The above image is of a mica Guardian Angel. She rests atop a bed of gold mica, laced with crushed rose petals. The fragrance is rose, cherry blossom and a hint of jasmine. Sweet scents for a lovely Angel!

What's so funny about peace, love and Buddha?

Above are a few soaps that will be offered at the TXU Energy Arts and Crafts Show on October 28, 2009. How about a French Roast Coffee Buddha soap? This is a chunky, whimsical soap that is a bestseller with our male clients. Made with mildest glycerin, a smidgen of organic coconut oil and French roast coffee grinds, this soap is good for the skin!
Fun fact: Did you know that coffee can dispel cooking odors from kitchen hands? Some people swear by this soap to shoo away smells of onions, garlic and other necessary ingredients from the cook's hands? We must take care of our cooks!
A few years ago, I discovered that using leftover coffee grounds makes an excellent facial scrub! The oils in the coffee, the caffeine and the exfoliating properties are excellent complexion toners! The problem is that the grounds are messy and can clog the sink.
The coffee grounds infused into the glycerin soap have solved my beauty/housekeeping dilemma.
The Buddha also comes in a crisp green tea and pomegranate fragrance with tea leaves for mild exfoliation. We have added natural chlorophyll for a lovely deep green color that is also beneficial for the skin. Oxygenation, anyone?
Did we mention that we are serious about internal and external antioxidants here at Angel Soap?
The Rock Soaps are dual-layered chunks of glycerin soap with the sparkle of mineral mica and good tidings of Love and Peace. They are perfumed with the classic holiday scents of vanilla, clove and cinnamon. We have also added a rose hips/jasmine/cherry blossom and crushed rose petals combo. Oh - and the citrusy ginger is delightful.
Ahhh! Peace, love and heavenly scents!